Fuel Injection

We are now taking orders for the fuel injection system!!!!

Complete Kit  $3600

Forget the Carburetors boys, Fuel Injection is here.  We are working with the guy who developed the Manifold to put together a kit which is as close to turn-key as possible.  We are starting with the TR6, but will shortly have kits for all of the 4 cyl engines including the Spitfire.  Here's a preview of what the manifold looks like.  We are working on developing a clean electrical harness, to ensure a simple and reliable installation.  the ECU will come pre-programed, yet will have the capability for customization if you so desire.  Stay tuned, we hope to release toward the end of this year, or early 2022.

Here are some previews of the Spitfire and TR2-4 kits

8/13/21 - The initial plan for locating the EFI accessories is to design a metal plate to fit on the shelf above the passenger footwell (see photo below with cardboard pattern).  Since some of the parts such as the ECU, need to be inside the passenger compartment, we decided that rather than drilling several holes requiring large grommets through the firewall, a simpler solution would be to mount those components on the underside of the plate.  We would then cut a large rectangular hole in the shelf.  As the plate is attached to the shelf, the components on the underside become the ceiling of the footwell, inside the car.  We will supply gasket material around the perimeter of the metal plate to prevent drafts, and to isolate the plate from the shelf.  The goal is to get the installation as close to bolt-in as possible.  One concern is the mounting of the fuel pump on the footwell shelf and the noise/vibration it might conduct to the passenger compartment.  It could be relocated to the back of the car near the fuel tank, but this complicates the installation.  The fuel pump is isolated from the metal plate with a rubber lined clamp bracket, and the plate is in turn isolated from the shelf with gasket material.  We will proceed with this approach, and evaluate the noise situation later.

Mark the cutout according to the instructions, cut with zip wheel or sawzall

 Apply door seal to opening, covers sharp edges and provides air seal as well as vibration isolation.  Will need to come up with a more accurate way to cut the miter joints, the tin snips were hit or miss.  The cardboard prototype has been converted to steel.

Here is the check fit of the components, the photo on the left is the top side as viewed from the engine compartment.  The right photo is the plate shown inverted on the bench showing all of the components which need to remain in the passenger compartment.

8/15/21 - Starting the harness. We are planning to use TESA tape to wrap the harness.  This is the tape used on high end European cars.  the small parts we have done so far look really good.  Once we get the harness completed, we can remove it from the car, and build a harness board for consistency.  When that's complete, we need to build a tester to test all contacts for continuity and shorts to make sure every pin is in the right place before we deliver it to you.

9/3/21 - Here's a couple of shots of the harness.  The portion out on the manifold is competed and wrapped.  The TESA tape worked well and it has a nice professional look.  The harness is ty-rap'd to the underside of the fuel rail. The next step is to complete the back end of the harness back at the component shelf. 

10/24/21 - It's been a while since my last entry.  We were away most of the month of December doing shows like VTR in Oaklahoma, 6Pack Trials in Richmond and the British Invasion in Stowe VT.  Getting back to teh shop earler this month, we were way behind and had to put the EFI on hold for a bit.  This weekend, I finally put some time aside to go over the harness.  I want to review the design and buzz out the harness.  I did find a few issues, made some modifications and corrected the design documentation.  There are a few loose ends to run to ground the the initial design and build will be complete.  Next up will be to make the harness board on which the production cables will be built.  Then on to completing the test for the cable.  Every harness will be completely tested so that there will be no harnesses delivered to customers with wiring errors.  So far everything is looking good, an dI hope to begin the installation in my car shortly.  Sorry, no pictures of interest this time. 

10/30/21 - Good progress today.  I had some issues locking the 35 pin connector with all of the pins in it.  It turned ot several of the contacts were crimped incorrectly preventing the connector from locking.  RE-crimped those contacts, and presto.  Will need to keep a closer eye on these crimps gong forward.  The harness has been completely checked out by hand and appears to be wired correctly.  The next step is to complete the development of the tester.

11/8/21 - This week spent time working on both the test harness and built a programming station which will allow me to pre-program the ECU before shipping it to the customer.  The programming software is both powerful and complicated to use.  I read through the programming manual, over 200 pages, great for insomnia.  Below is the programming station.

11/13/21 - Somewhat ugly, but a big step forward.  The test harness was completed, the tester was able to successfully able to learn the cable, and we confirmed the quality of the test by creating a test failure by opening any of the connections.  All in all this was a successful test.  This will allow us to ship tested cables to our customers, eliminating the possibility of delivering a defective cable.  We are getting very close to the trial installation in our car.  We still need to finalize the Harness Board.

11/27/21 - Big Day today, Started the installation in my car.  Bear with me on the pictures, I am not a big fan of under hood hygiene, engines are supposed to be dirty.  I'm going to document my steps with photos as I go along.

Here's the "before" photo.  Always a good idea.

I started by removing all of the hoses going to the carbs and the intake manifold.  Also disconnect the throttle linkage.  You will need to partially drain the radiator system because there is coolant flowing through the intake manifold.  Shown above is the hose fitting from the thermostat housing.  You will need to remove this fitting with a 3/4" socket.  I needed to add a bit of pipe to the ratchet handle, but it came out fairly easily.

These parts will be supplied with the kit.  The fitting on the left is a 3/8" NPTF to 3/8" flare adapter.  The flare end screws directly into the Thermostat housing and the Temp sensor screws directly into the adapter.

 Since the threads in the housing are not tapered like a pipe thread, the threads themselves do not create the seal.  The underside of the adapter (under the nut portion) creates the seal to the face of the housing.   For this reason the face needs to be very clean.  I used my favorite tool, a die grinder with a 2" wire brush to clean the face.  The face is quite pitted even though the original fitting did not leak a drop.  Getting it to seal again is a potential challenge.  My first choice is a copper washer, second choice an O-ring, third RTV?  May have to see what was used originally.

Here it is installed temporarily, I didn't have the washers at the shop today.

Next loosen the nuts at both ends of the EGR connection.  This will prevent you from removing the manifold if you don't.  Some earlier models may not have the EGR system at all.  This car is a 1974.

We are ready to remove the old intake manifold.  There are three nuts on the top and six on the bottom.  You can reach the bottom ones easily with a 9/16" socket and a 6-9" extension.  There is a rocker device on each one of the bottom ones that puts pressure on both the intake an exhaust manifolds at the same time.  Note the positions of these as you remove them.  Improper positioning will cause leaks.

The intake manifold is removed.  Even though the gasket appears to be in good shape, it's been in there for a long time, so I'm going to change it.  I am not expecting to make this part of the kit a this time, but we might.  Now that the intake manifold is removed, the pipe for the EGR can be removed along with the EGR itself.  I'll need to find a suitable plug for the opening in the head.  I'm told there is a Volvo drain plug that fits it, more research needed.

Now that the old throttle linkage is gone, it's a good time to install the Throttle linkage Kit that comes with the kit.  The slot in the bracket is lined up with the edge of the firewall and centered over the throttle.  Drill two 17/64" holes and insert the supplied bolts.  We will install the cable later.  The old hose in the background from the Intake manifold needs to be removed, and the tube will be capped off with a rubber cap supplied with the kit.

Now that the intake is gone, we have much better access to the exhaust pipes, so next time, I will drill the hole and weld in the bung for the O2 Sensor.

I removed the EGR valve and discovered the hole was 3/4-16 which is the same size as a standard replacement oil drain plug.  I ordered one and it fits perfectly.  I also installed the Coolant Temperature sensor.  I tried the copper washer but didn't like the way it fit so I went with an O-ring.  The recess behind the threads on the flare fitting is a perfect place for the O-ring to seat.  It looks like it should seal well on the uneven surface of the Thermostat housing, probably better than the copper washer. (no photo, not much to see)  I opted to use the green HBNR type of O-ring which has a wider heat range and resists more chemicals than standard O-rings.  These will be provided with the kit.

11/30/21 - It was time to take on the bung for the O2 sensor.  The manufacturer indicates it needs to be mounted above the centerline of the exhaust pipe so that any condensation will drip off the sensor.  Since the space around the pipes is limited side to side, I decided to mount it near the top of the pipe with a slight angle away from the engine.  the sensor will be right below the starter.  Depending on which exhaust system you have, you will need to watch the welding heat.  My pipes were 18ga Stainless and it was very easy to burn through.  The whole job took less than an hour.  Now I need to wait for the gasket to arrive before I can start to re-assemble.

One other consideration is how the cable will be run from the O2 Sensor to the inside of the footwell where it's controller is located.  One option is to drill a hole in the firewall to pass the sensor through.  I don't care for this solution as the hole will need to be at least 1" in diameter for the sensor to pass through (the connector at the other end is even larger) and a special grommet would be required.  My plan is to run it through the large hole in the center of the plate since it is large enough to accept another cable.

One last thing on the cooling system now that things are more accessible.  The hose that went to the aft end of the intake manifold must be removed and capped.  Remove the old hose and install the 1/2" cap that comes with the kit as shown.

While I'm waiting for the intake/exhaust gasket, let's talk about fuel routing.  This has been a subject of great debate amongst the EFI advocates I have spoken with.  Some would like to mount the pump and filter in the rear of the car below the gas tank or in the trunk.  You can certainly do this if you prefer.  My goal has been to make the installation as simple as possible which is why they are mounted on the component plate in the engine bay.  One issue with this mounting scheme is that it places the fuel pump near the same height as the top fuel tank.  I have heard from several sources that electric fuel pumps typically have poor intake suction and if not gravity fed, may not self prime.  While I have some doubts about this, my solution is to feed the new electric fuel pump from the original mechanical fuel pump.  This will prevent the potential priming issues with the new high pressure fuel pump.  In order to simplify the connection we will be providing the short "U" turn tube shown in the right photo. The clamping nut from the old fuel line can be re-used, and a new sealing ring will be supplied with the "U" turn tube.  1/4" rubber fuel line will be run from this tube to the input of the filter on the component plate.  This keeps the installation simple, neat and minimizes the complication of the installation.  One other concern that comes up frequently is the noise generated by the electric fuel pump.  I tested the one I'm using, and I defy anyone to hear this pump in an open convertible over the roar of the engine, especially since it is well isolated by the rubber gasket mounting the plate to the car's chassis, time will tell.

12/2/21 - The Intake/exhaust gasket arrived today, so I found some time to install the manifolds.  The photo on the top shows a nice bead of Hi Temp RTV on the intake manifold to ensure a good seal.  The installation revealed a minor interference problem with my modified heat control valve, so I will need to make some minor modifications to the hose routing.  Other than that, the install went smoothly.  Some of the studs came out with the nut stuck in place.  I removed the nuts, wire brushed the studs and replaced them.  I decided to put in new nuts and washers although the originals could have been re-used.

12/3/21 - Got the Throttle  Linkage kit installed today.  The outer jacket was a bit too long by about 6" so I put a piece of shrink sleeving over the jacket to prevent the braid from unraveling and cut it off with a zip wheel.  Now it lays nicely and moves easily.  The bracket on the firewall is very close to the intake manifold, so it may need to be bent down a bit to provide more clearance for when the engine moves.  Also my modified heat control valve is laying right on the fuel line, so I will need to add an elbow.  This does not appear to be an issue with the stock heat control valve.  By the way, this control valve is an excellent modification for two reasons.   It takes much less effort to move the control valve, and secondly when it fails it will drip where the original valve will develop a catastrophic leak and empty your coolant system.  I highly recommend it and I can provide you with a tech article if you want to make the modification yourself.

12/4/21 - Ok, this part's not for the squeamish.  If there have been any complaints about the proposed installation, this is it.  Everyone is reluctant to cut into the car's sheet metal, even me.  I bit the bullet and made the cutout.  It didn't hurt, and it went fast.  I used my air powered sawzall and it zipped right through it.  The door seal material is a bit difficult to cut and as you can see, my corner joint is a bit open.  The other corners I just bent the material thinking the seal would be better and put the one cut joint in the back.  This can be glued up with RTV caulking.

The plate drops right in.  I inserted rubber grommets in the corners to help with vibration isolation so there is no metal to metal contact between the plate and the chassis.  The longest screws I had were too short, so I need to pickup some longer ones.   I'm also waiting for some 5/16" hose I ordered to arrive so I can connect the regulator to the return line to the gas tank.  I hope to be checking for leaks this week and possibly starting the car.  By the way the harness fit in place as expected although it was a bit tight in a few spots particularly the wires over the top of the valve cover to the distributer.  I adjusted the lengths on the harness board diagram.  There's a photo below for anyone who's interested.

12/12/21 - So last weekend I posted a link to this page on some Facebook sites.  I was glad to see many people had visited, and I got many comments, particularly about the large hole one needs to cut in the ceiling of the passenger footwell.  Frankly, I wasn't jazzed about the hole either, but it simplified the installation, and my goal from the beginning with this is simplify the install wherever possible.  It's the same reason I opted to put the fuel filter/pump/regulator on the plate under the hood rather than mounting it in the rear below the gas tank.  The alternative to the large hole, is to drill a 2" diameter hole in the firewall to allow the large 35pin connector from the ECU to pass through.  In addition, the ECU, the O2 controller and the idle stepper controller then have to be mounted somewhere in the footwell which would result in sheet metal screws protruding into the engine compartment where you will tear up your hands on the sharp points (ask me how I know).  The big hole is not as bad as it seems, and seems like a minor concession in converting to fuel injection.  However, the pushback from some has been strong, so I have decided the kit will be sold with or without the plate so that customers who want to can decide for themselves where to mount everything.

12/18/21 - Got a lesson today on the GM fuel line connection.  My original plumbing had mostly steel line from the output of the regulator shown in the center of this photo to the fuel rail on the Manifold.  I didn't like this setup for several reasons.  The engine moves and the regulator doesn't, so point to point steel tubing is a bad idea.  Second the tubing is VERY difficult to work with, and it was difficult to get the bends and termination correct so that the tube entered the regulator straight.  What I learned is that if it's not fairly straight, it leaks,  I cut out the whole center section of the steel tubing and replaced it with flexible rubber hose.  Much better, freedom for movement, and no leaks.  This was really the only leak issue, so hooray for that.  I completed the power connections to the battery, and this completes the initial installation.  Turned  the ignition key, and the fuel pump came on, not too noisy as I expected.  I had to crank it a bit to prime the fuel  rail, and she started to sputter a bit.  Could not get her to start though, and ran out of time and battery for this session.  A friend suggested checking the fuel rail pressure, which sounds like a good plan for next time.

12/30/21 - Big day today.  Finally got the car to start.  It turns out the software has many features which we don't use that are turned on by default.  Once we went through each one and got the setting right she popped right off.  There were two minor wiring issues I needed to make changes to as well.  I can say that you barely touch the starter and she's running.  Next I need to do the tuning.  The company that makes the software package has an auto tuning option for $60.  You basically connect the laptop, put it in tuning mode, and drive the car.  The software makes changes to the tuning tables as you drive.  This is something you can do yourself, although it shouldn't be necessary as the ECU I ship with the product will be pre-programmed for a stock TR6.  In the event yours is not stock, you can simply go through the tuning process with your car and save the new results.  It is quite simple.  It's also important to know that if you are experienced in this area, that all of the entries in all of the tables can be modified by hand, so you have full control.   Some other products don't offer this capability.

Now, for all of those who complained about putting the fuel pump up front, I will graciously accept your "I told you so".  It is more audible than I expected it to be, mostly only audible at idle.  So I will be offering the kit with the Fuel pump mounted or unmounted on the plate.  I may also look into making a different plate which would mount on the inside of the firewall, supporting a single hole in the firewall for the cables to pass through, or possibly just mount on the underside of the shelf we had planned to use before.

2/16/22 - Hi!  It's been a while since I posted anything.  We had some hospital issues with my Dad which turned out well, and then the snow came, so my progress has been a bit limited.  I been taking everyone's comments seriously, and have come up with an installation plan that does not involve cutting a large hole in the footwell.  I have developed a new mounting plate shown below, which no longer contains the fuel pump and regulator.  These will now be relocated to the trunk,  underneath the gas tank on the car's frame.  We will provide a drilling template for the mounting plate, and 4 small holes will need to be drilled in the shelf.  The plate is then inserted from inside the footwell, and 4 nuts will secure it to the ceiling of the footwell inside the passenger compartment.  There will need to be a 1.5" round hole in the firewall for the harness to pass through, but everyone I have spoken to had no issue with this, and we will provide a grommet.  The photo on the right shows the four studs in the corners which will secure the plate to the ceiling of the footwell.  The nuts securing the studs to the plate will act as spacers.  This solution should also work for customers who have mounted things on the shelf in the engine bay as the mounting studs are out near the corners of the shelf.  We are expecting some warm weather this week, and I hope to get the car out and do some tuning, so we can start taking orders.

2/21/22 - Finally some clear weather.  I got the car out for some tuning runs.  The software is pretty amazing.  There is a chart that shows the range of RPM values against the manifold vacuum range.  Each cell represents the amount of fuel needed in this portion of the range of performance.  The software compares this to the amount of unburned fuel the O2 sensor sees in the exhaust, and adjusts the length of the injector pulse accordingly.  In just an hour or two of driving, the car is noticeably different.  There is still some hesitation on takeoff, and some stumbling on the 2000-3500 range when cruising, and I'm hoping some more tuning runs will eventually smooth these out.  The warm idle is nice and smooth, but the cold idle is still a bit choppy.  I'm working with the manufacturer to get the appropriate settings for the Idle controller, and this should solve that issue.  Once these remaining issues are worked out, we will do an install in the beta customer's car with the new mounting plate and work out any wire length issues that may crop up, and we should be in a position to begin taking orders.

3/15/22 - We had some bad weather and could not get out for a while.  The end of last week was good, and so far the early part of this week has been excellent.  Not much has changed to provide photo's of.  We have been dabbling a bit with the tach pickup.  Initially we did an inductive pickup from the coil's main output, but since it's so close to the spark plug wires, it seems to occasionally get a double trigger, and the ECU thinks the engine is suddenly turning at 20,000 RPM's.  That could be really exciting if it was real.  There is a way to trigger the tach off the primary side of the coil, which I am going to try next in order to get a cleaner TACH signal.  Once we have this issue nailed down, we have the cold idle circuit to debug, and we should be ready for some extensive driving/tuning.  I may need to take a day of and go driving.  I'm hoping to have things wrapped up and start taking order by the end of the month, but the problem with debugging is that you don't exactly know when you will be finished, until you are.

4/3/22 - Still wrestling with the TACH pickup signal.  We had a component failure in the Microsquirt module itself.  We sent our unit our to have it repaired, and once it was returned, it failed shortly thereafter.  Because of this we are now working closely with the designer of the Microsquirt as we are both anxious to have a reliable solution for our customers.  Although this has created some delay in our schedule, we are pleased with the level of attention this issue is getting, and are confident we will arrive at good solution. 

For those that are interested, here are some additional technical details.  As I mentioned in the last installment, we were using the inductive pickup input, and were seeing some noise that confused the ECU about how fast the engine was actually turning.  In order to solve this issue, we decided to try connecting an alternative ECU input directly to the coils primary side,  What should be there is 12V on one side, and open/ground on the other side, depending on the position of the points.  It turns out there are also some voltage spikes caused by something called back EMF from the secondary side of the coil.  The ECU has a series resistor to protect the input gate from these EMF spikes, and it is this resistor which seems to have failed.  When we were using this input and before the failure, we noticed that this input was also providing a noisy signal.  We also discovered that the software provides a filter which had not been turned on.  Once the filter was activated, the signal smoothed out nicely, and the TACH became extremely stable.  We were set to go out and do some tuning runs, based on this new stable TACH signal.  Unfortunately, the failure occurred during our warmup, and stopped the show.  It wasn't until later in the day on my way home that I realized the filter may also correct the noise we were seeing on the inductive pickup input as well.  Hopefully, I will get to test that theory tomorrow.  If that works successfully, we are on our way.  The inductive input has been my preferred way to go, because this input seems less likely to suffer a failure.  We will also continue to work with the designer on the other input, to develop a solution for that.  That input has been less favored by me because it may require some signal conditioning in the harness, and I personally prefer not to bury components in the wiring harness itself.  Rest assured, we will ship no product until we are confident in the resolution of this issue.

4/14/22 - Got a chance to try out the inductive tach pickup with the software filter turned on.  Works like a champ.  Nice stable tach signal.  At one point in this process, I put a very long coil wire in so that I could move the pickup point away from the spark plug wires which were causing the erratic triggering.  I need to put the shorter one in to make sure the longer coil wire is not necessary.  I believe it won't be.  I also started working on tuning the Idle Air Control valve.  That seems to work nicely.  I have some more learning to do here, and it needs to be adjusted at various temperatures, so hopefully we can make some progress on that this week.  Then there is a second adjustment for the cranking settings.  This is the part that allows a fuel injected car to start without pumping the gas petal.  I'm hoping to get both of these completed this week.  Next weekend, I will be at a car show at Gunston Hall in Lorton,VA, so there will be no progress next weekend, and the beta customer's car should be ready the following week.  Assuming that install goes without a hitch, we should be ready to start taking orders.  I'm already working on the installation manual.

4/28/22 - As we are coming down the home stretch on the programming, we are looking ahead to preparing to accept and deliver our initial orders.  Many of you have contacted me in the past, and I have put together a list.  I recently sent an email out to the people on this list asking them to confirm what year their car is so that we can begin pre-ordering material.  If you have not received such an email and wish to be on our list, please send me an email indicating so along with you car's year.  bobwaldeck@verizon.net

7/13/22 - WOW how time flies.  Between the car shows, regular business, and some issues with the elderly parents, I can't believe we are in July already.  As I mentioned previously, the cleaned up Tach signal fixed the hesitation issue we were experiencing at cruising speeds.  That was an important one to get right as it was quite noticeable.  Remaining are some idling issues, and some minor bucking at takeoff.  I believe these will be simple to fix.  Now a new problem has arisen.  Supply Chain.  We use a GM throttle body at the front of the intake manifold to control airflow.  We have had a number of pieces of these on order for months, and our supplier has not been able to give us an expected delivery date.  I'm not comfortable taking orders for which I can't give a timeframe, so that will need to wait for a bit.  Stand by for more information.